February Small

I’ve been waiting to post this! I’m crazy about this little piece, wish I could have got it framed and sent home to my other half for Valentine’s, but it wasn’t to be. Some time in the near future though. I hope. The design is one of Lizzie Kate’s Snippets, and I’ve been in love with it forever. It was one of the first to rekindle my interest in cross stitch. So yay! Two little things finished this year – actually 3 if you count the poor little lost Imbolc stitch I sent to Drakken. :( Anyway! Linking up with the Smalls SAL hosted by Stitching Lotus again (or I will be, once my computer stops being stupid and loads the linky for me). :)

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Time Out of Mind

I’ve had a lot on my mind the past few weeks. Actually the last several months, but as my time in school is almost finished my thoughts are shifting more and more to home, and my family. I’ve been away so long. The worst part is, I’m not even sure we’ll get to be together when I’m finished. It’s all still up in the air. We’ll be together eventually, and it’ll be worth it, but right now…we’re still waiting. It might be another year or more before we can be physically together again, and sometimes that really feels like too much to take. Like I’m asking too much – of them, of myself. My heart hurts. I have a little hope that it might get better sooner, but I’m bracing for the worst.

Since I don’t have much to say, here are a few of the little inspirational things that have given me a lift recently. Some are from FB, some friends sent to me.

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Distance also means you don’t mind dishes in the sink or socks on the floor, because you know it means there was someone there to make the mess.

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I had this taped up on my mirror for a long time.

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Hard work, work…

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This is so true…because in the end it really is worth it.

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And this one I really want to buy and hang up or put on my desk.

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Expectations

I had this long list of things to do this weekend. I was going to be so productive.

Um. Yeah no. About the only thing I accomplished was spending money. And this. More on it later.

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Trying to tell myself that sometimes, it’s ok to not be productive. Sometimes the mind and body just need to rest. The only thing is, I feel like I tell myself that a lot.

Back in the Stacks

Well, I didn’t sleep that much over the weekend. Guess my body didn’t need quite as much as I though, or maybe I’ve just learned to function on 5 hours a night and 7 feels like overkill.

I actually spent a lot of time reading. Some hard copy, a lot audio. I finished Curtsies and Conspiracies, which was fun. Worked on Becoming Odyssa a little, and started Waistcoats and Weaponry.

 

Curtsies was a pretty little light-hearted YA novel and just the kind of mind fluff I needed. After studying till facts and numbers and vocab were all coming out my ears I needed a break. No sex and not much violence, so it’s not exactly mind candy, but definitely fluff. I really enjoyed it, and I did something I haven’t done in ages…started the next in the series right away!

I really miss reading. Reading for hours at a time, just losing myself completely in a book. I’ve done most of my recent reading via audiobook, just because I can’t stand to not be multi-tasking with such limited free time. I had an Audible subscription for a long time (which is a GREAT deal for larger books, by the way…little ones, I’d just use the discount that comes with the $15 a month membership, because otherwise you’re actually paying more for the smaller ones!), but I had such a backlog I cancelled it until I can get caught up on listening. I can’t remember the last time I wasn’t constantly checking my watch as I read/studied/took a shower, worrying about when I needed to next be somewhere. But, I’m still doing happy things! Reading, stitching, writing letters…which reminds me, some mail posted in a DIFFERENT drop box actually made it to its destination. Apparently all 7 postcards/letters I put in the first one have gone AWOL. I’m slowly getting to re-writing the letters. Anne and Sarah, my replies to your lovely letters were among those lost…replacements are forthcoming, I promise!

I realized when I started Turncoats that I have SO MANY book series started. Do most people read all the way through one, or at least get caught up through the publishing, before they start a new one? I remember plowing through series at the speed of light as a kid, then biting my nails till the next one came out. But I haven’t done that for a LONG time. Now I have tons of series started that I intend to finish (not going to even begin to go into how many I started and have no intention of finishing)…it’s going to take awhile! My book list is ever growing.

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon – So. In. Love. Scotland. Medicine. Sex. War. Passion. Time travel. This one just pretty much pushes all my buttons.
Temeraire series by Naomi Novik – The only alternative history books I’ve ever read, I think. Love these too, not as passionately as Outlander, but still love them.
China Bayles by Susan Wittig Albert – Cozy mysteries. Fluff books. Good to relax.
Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich – Guilty pleasure mysteries, I laugh till I cry with almost every one of these.
Women of the Otherworld by Kelley Armstrong – I’ve actually only read the first one of these, but I liked it and want to read more.
Maisie Dobbs series by Jacqueline Winspear – again, only read the first one of these, but I loved the psychological mystery aspect without too much gore. Still on the cozy mystery side of the spectrum, I think. Sense a pattern yet?
Amelia Peabody series by Elizabeth Peters – more history, more cozy. Also funny. I love Amelia.
Discworld  by Terry Pratchett – the only sci-fi on this list. But OMG Vimes! and the Watch! and Rincewind! I giggle and smile and cry through every one and I’m so far from being finished.
Chief Inspector Armand Garmanche by Louise Penny- not so cozy but still not thriller type. Also only read the first in this series but I really enjoyed it.
Charlotte and Thomas Pitt series by Anne Perry – dramatic Victorian mysteries. Different than what I usually read but I like them…just not in large doses?
Meg Lanslow series by Donna Andrews – hysterical. Improbable. Cozy mysteries.
Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes series by Laurie R. King – also only read the first one of these but fully intend to read them all. I listened to this one.

Hard Work

Well, I survived the hell week of exams here, and squeaked by with a pass on everything. Phew! I am SO glad this week is over with. I feel like I’ve really achieved something and the next good thing is right around the corner. Still a lot of hard work between here and there, but hard work is good for the mind, body, and soul.

So is the giant chocolate bar I’m in the process of finishing. Cause no matter what I eat, how much I eat, all the running I’ve been doing has my body changing shape in ways I don’t really appreciate. I put on my yoga pants for the first time in about 5 weeks tonight, and I was more than a little horrified to see I’m definitely losing my butt. Are ALL my curves going to turn flat?? I mean muscle is a great thing, really. But um…I’m a girl. I wanna look like one. Not a stick. I think more chocolate is in order. Actually, probably more squats.

I hate squats. Chocolate sounds good.

Smalls 2015 – January

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Well, I’ve already posted this picture, but sadly I’m not in the position to actually finish this as an ornament right now! And since my Imbolc to Drakken seems to have certainly been lost or indefinitely delayed (many tears…let’s not discuss it anymore) this is my only finish for January. The pretty little Valentine’s thing in my last post is almost done but not quite. I’m excited to do this Smalls SAL though! Hopefully I can maintain my momentum through the rest of the year. I would love to do a Christmas ornament a month, but knowing me I’ll probably get distracted.

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New Pretties

This is what I’m working on now! More details later but it’s looking so pretty I had to share. My first time using Weeks Dye Works thread.

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Another Small Victory

I’ve had my eye on this darling little ornament pattern from Little House Needleworks for about 2 years now. I bought it about a year ago, FINALLY started on it about a week ago, and voila! It’s done. I’m thrilled with it and can’t wait to get back to my fabrics and sewing machine to finish it completely. It’s the Hot Cocoa ornament from their 2012 series.

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Valentine’s Fun

So I’m all bummed and bothered because there’s this amazing sale going on at Bloomerie Fabrics, on these beautiful Valentine’s Day prints, and I absolutely CAN’T BUY because I have no where to put the fabric. Sigh. I’m especially obsessed with these.

 

 

I see some kind of Irish Chain pattern, with the chocolate brown in place of the usual white or pale color. Maybe next year. In the meantime, stop by the sale and buy some pretties so I can live vicariously through you. Ok? ;)

Mail Time!

I’ve finally got some of my pretty papers and inks back, and I got to go find some postcards at the giftshop here! I was really excited to finally send out a nice stack of mail. I actually wrote quite a lot of letters in the past year, just to a very few people and usually on very plain notebook paper. Both writing and receiving letters were my link to my loved ones over the months of no technology, and many Sundays I spent hours just writing letters and rereading ones I’d received.

I was going to post a couple pictures of the stack of mail I sent out (last Monday), but my usual photo editor with the handy little blur tool for addresses isn’t working, and I’ve spent probably an hour trying to find/upload/use another one. I’ve completely exhausted my supply of patience, so sadly I have no pictures.

Also, I’ve discovered – a week after the fact – that the mailbox I dropped my lovely stack of letters and postcards into DOESN’T GET CHECKED REGULARLY. What. the everlasting. Why is there even a box with a posted pickup time if they’re not going to check it?!? I’m really upset, as the Imbolc project and a couple of letters going to Europe were in it, along with a bunch of postcards. :( I was told to remind the powers that be on Tuesday and hopefully they will remind the mail person to empty the box. I sincerely hope so…I’ll be so sad if all that stuff just goes off to the big post office in the sky.

What I do have a picture of is a sort of life-improvement project. The past several years have seen not the best financial situation in my life, due to a lot of different factors. This year I really want to try to save some money, and while poking around Pinterest I kept seeing all the cute little 52 Week Savings Challenge things. I love the idea, but having the largest savings weeks at the END of the year had me a bit skeptical. So I’ve twisted it up a bit. I made my little savings pouch, complete with handwritten chart, and I’ll be saving what I can each week. Some weeks more, some weeks less, and gradually checking off all the amounts on the chart. This way I can clear off those scary $52, $51, $50 weeks early in the game. I really hope I can stay on track with this throughout the year! It’s kind of fun to put the cash in there each week. NOT having the money easily accessible in my online savings account is actually helping me, so far. Too easy to transfer and spend! I’m not sure what I’ll do with the $1378 at the end of the year. Of course the best thing to do would be put it in an account or investment, buuuut…I don’t know. I don’t do so well with making the most responsible choices, heh. I’d be a lot more excited about using it towards something fun, a trip, or a new bike, or something like that. But we’ll see. Anyway, here’s my “piggy bank!”

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ETA: Wow, apparently this is my 200th post on this blog! That’s kind of cool. ;) :D